Does Home Insurance Cover Fire Damage?

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Jessica Fox 10-09-2021

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Fire? Find Out!

homeowners insurance cover fire

One of the most common questions about homeowners insurance is whether it covers your home and your assets from fire damage. Of course, all home insurance policies cover accidental fires, like a candle-caused fire. However, if you live in a wildfire zone, you’ll need to purchase specific coverage to protect your property from damages. 

Let’s explore how your homeowner’s insurance policy can protect you from paying for fire-related damage.

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The Most Common Homeowners Insurance Fire Coverage

Your homeowner’s insurance will help cover fire-related expenses to your home, belongings and any unattached structures, like a shed that resides on your property. In addition, different components of homeowners insurance will help cover the cost of repair. 

These are the different types of home insurance and how they can help you recover from a house fire:

  • Dwelling: Homeowners insurance protects your home and its contents. Dwelling coverage is what shoulders the financial burden of fire repair to your home via a lump sum (minus the deductible) up to your policy limit in the event of a house fire.
  • Personal Property: Should you have a house fire and your personal effects are damaged or destroyed, personal property coverage will pay to replace these items. However, akin to dwelling insurance, your insurance company will pay up to your policy limit, so make sure you select the right limit to protect your home and contents adequately.
  • Detached Structures: Should unattached structures — including fences — encounter fire damage, detached or “other structure coverage” will come into play to cover the cost of repair.
  • Loss Of Use: If your home is uninhabitable after a fire, loss of use will help pay for your living expenses; this includes hotel fees, food, laundry, short-term rental and some of the costs associated with relocating.
  • Personal Liability: It’s worrisome enough experiencing a house fire but, should the fire transfer to a neighboring house, your neighbor can sue you for damages; this is where personal liability coverage comes in handy. Although your homeowner’s insurance comes with personal liability, if a neighboring house burnt down as a result of your house catching fire, consider adding personal umbrella coverage to your policy to increase your coverage.

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Causes of House Fires Covered Under Home Insurance

The first step to finding out what isn’t specifically covered under your homeowners insurance is by asking your insurer. However, your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover fire damage costs if the fire started due to an act of war or if someone in the house intentionally started the fire. 

Another thing to keep in mind is wildfires may be excluded from your coverage, especially if you live in a fire-prone area. If you’re concerned about wildfire coverage, call your provider to find out your policy details.

Filing A Home Insurance Claim

Once you’ve safely escaped your home or contained the fire and you’ve made sure everyone is okay, then it’s time to call your insurance company and file a claim.

Here’s what you’ll need to file an insurance claim with your insurance company:

  • Policy information, including your name
  • When the fire occurred (time and date)
  • What happened
  • A report from first responders (fire or police department)
  • Damage records (photos, videos)
  • If anyone were involved, you’d need their insurance information

Once you’ve sent your report to insurance, it is quickly processed, and an adjuster will come to survey the damage. The insurance adjuster’s assessment will put your claim on the fast track for a settlement.

Homeowners Insurance And Fire Damage

House fires happen, but it’s comforting to know your homeowner’s insurance is there to help you and your family recover after a house fire.

Jessica FoxJessica Fox has been a freelance writer for five years, with a specialty in health, wellness, and insurance. During this time, she’s written for some of the biggest B2B and B2C brands from around the world. Jessica is also the mother of two young daughters and loves coffee, writing, and working out.